About Us

The Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT has a dedicated team working to ensure that your training with us is well supported and student focused.

Our central team is based in a purpose-built Staff Training Centre on the Toot Hill School campus in Bingham.

In addition to the central team, you will be working closely with individual subject mentors and other professionals within the organisation throughout your training. 

Central Team

Treena Philpotts

Director of NTS and Early Career Teachers and International Schools Partnership

Treena has 25 years of experience working and teaching in primary and secondary schools.  She began her career as a teacher of Physical Education and Geography working in a variety of schools in the West Midlands.  She developed her experience in teacher training as a regional teacher trainer for the Sandwell then Rushcliffe Sports Partnership, and later became Head of PE at Toot Hill School.

In more recent years, in her role as a Strategic School Leader, she had responsibility for Continuing Professional Development of teachers, delivering the National Professional Qualification Leadership courses and developing MA research and development and leadership of a Teaching School Alliance. Most recently, she has pioneered ‘Teaching Together in Europe’ establishing partnerships in Europe to offer optional placements to trainee teachers in the UK. This provides an exciting opportunity for trainee teachers who apply, and are selected, to visit an overseas British International School.

Treena now works within Nova Education Trust as Director of Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT and Early Career Framework delivery in partnership with the Ambition Institute.


Management, monitoring and quality assurance of the recruitment process, SCITT training course and the training offer from the University of Nottingham.

Supporting the training teacher’s development through the development and delivery of the NTS training programme and with ongoing support and guidance to trainees as necessary.

Assessment of trainees and trainers as part of the quality assurance ensuring that the quality of judgements being made by mentors and ITT co-ordinators are consistent across all partner schools.

Liaison with schools and the Strategic Board on the placement of trainees, as well as the development of course materials and the NTS website.

Marketing, training courses and networking meetings to update professional development and for benchmarking.

Lead the delivery and ongoing development of the Early Career Framework.

Design and deliver training events for early career teachers and mentors.

Mark Watts

Course Tutor and Lead of Quality Assurance

Mark has over 25 years of secondary education experience, which began at Toot Hill School teaching PE, Maths and as a Senior Leader. As the Nova Education Trust grew, Mark moved to become the Head of School at Nottingham University Samworth Academy, and then Kirk Hallam Community Academy, and most recently Nottingham Free School. Mark has been a member of the SCITTs Strategic committee since it began in 2014 and has vast experience in supporting Early Career Teachers. Mark is highly qualified and experienced in coaching teachers and supporting teachers to continue to professionally develop. Marks role within the SCITT is to support High Quality Training - in schools and within the program delivery as a course Tutor and lead of Quality Assurance.

Rachel Rimmington

SCITT Administration Manager

Rachel has over 20 years’ experience, working in both management and administration roles, prior to joining Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT.

Rachel is the first port of call for all enquiries regarding School Centred Initial Teacher Training and School Direct, and has been working for NTS since September 2014.


Management of the application and interview process for those seeking to train with NTS.

Management and implementation of DfE systems, Student Loans, Bursaries, SKEs and databases for NTS.

Organises taster days and school experience.

Co-ordination of all NTS events and calendar.

Managing effective communication links between trainees, ITT co-ordinators, senior staff, subject tutors and mentors.

Manages placements for all trainees.

Supports current and future trainees.

Rebecca Morgan-Jones

Pastoral, Well-being, Marketing and Recruitment Lead

Rebecca started her education career in Art and Design in 2002.  She started teaching in Manchester, moving to an inner-city school in Nottingham in 2003.  From there she moved to Toot Hill School to become the Performance Director of the Art and Design department.

Moving from departmental responsibilities to whole school, Rebecca became an Associate School Leader responsible for NQT, RQT, ITT, PGCE and School Direct provision across Nova Education Trust. She worked closely with the universities to give the best support, training and experience to trainees and staff who were beginning their career in education. In addition, Rebecca was involved in devising annual whole school CPD programmes for all staff specific to where they were in their career. She also delivered middle leadership training across the trust.

Rebecca is also a Mental Health First Aider for adults and youth trained by MHFA England.

Rebecca has always been very interested in staff well-being which led her to train to be a mindset coach. She has written and delivered sessions to pupils, trainees and staff across the trust.

Rebecca is now the pastoral lead for Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT — she runs all our support clinics, delivers our sessions on mental health and well-being and monitors the welfare of our trainees.

Rebecca is also responsible for the marketing and recruitment process at NTS.

Helen Temple

Quality of Curriculum and Development Lead for Secondary (Secondment)

Prior to teaching, Helen had a successful career in the theatre industry where she led the creative learning agenda for the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, working with young people across youth justice, community, informal and formal education settings.

During her time at the National Youth Theatre, she played an integral role in developing an innovative, accredited drama qualification for young people at risk of offending. It was at this point that Helen came to the conclusion that education had the power to transform the life chances of the most vulnerable in society, and subsequently retrained to become a secondary English teacher in 2012.

Since training, Helen has worked in an inner-city Nottingham secondary school with a high proportion of disadvantaged pupils, where she has taught across Key Stages 3 and 4. Her previous leadership roles have included co-ordinating programmes for Newly Qualified Teachers and Recently Qualified Teachers and supporting Initial Teacher Trainees.

Helen has joined our team as a Quality of Training and Curriculum Lead for the Secondary SCITT programme from September 2021.

Katie Wilson

Quality of Curriculum and Development Lead for Primary (Secondment)

Katie is a Deputy Head Teacher of an over-subscribed Church of England primary school. She began her career in 2008 after completing her English degree as a teaching assistant and sports coach, before quickly gaining QTS. She taught in several schools across Nottinghamshire before moving into Cambridgeshire.

Previously, Katie has held leadership positions in English, Mathematics, Physical Education, Religious Education, KS2 and whole-school curriculum design, as well as mentoring trainees and leading on teacher development across schools.

Katie has a strong commitment to excellent teaching and teacher development, and is evidence-informed in her practice. She works closely with schools beyond her own context, writing and delivering training and working in collaboration on exciting projects.

She has driven change and improvement in the schools that she has worked in and is a strong advocate for leading by example.

As a former pupil of Toot Hill School, Katie recognises that teachers can have a huge impact on their students’ futures, which inspired her to join Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT and make a wider contribution towards the teachers of the future — and their pupils.

Katie has joined our team as a Quality of Training and Curriculum Lead for the primary SCITT programme from September 2021.

Hannah Campbell

Finance Officer

Hannah joined Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT in 2020 after working in the Financial Services Industry for 10 years.

Hannah provides both financial and administrative support to the SCITT operation.

Sarah Gibb

SCITT and ECT Programme Co-ordinator

Sarah ensures the smooth operational delivery across all our ECF, Appropriate Body and CPD offers, as well as providing administrative support to the ITT programmes.

Prior to joining the Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT in 2017, Sarah had a successful career in Human Resource Management.

Lead Subject Tutors


  • Create, lead, deliver and review the relevant Subject Pedagogy programme.
  • Monitoring and Quality Assurance of observations and the standards achieved by trainee teachers through observation and review of feedback from mentors.
  • Audit the subject knowledge of trainee teachers at the start of the programme and monitor their progress and provide support in remedying any weaknesses identified by the subject mentor.
  • Assess the trainee teacher’s portfolio and offer support and guidance.

Primary Tutors

Marie Allen

Primary Tutor

Marie has over 20 years of teaching experience in primary schools, working in the UK, Australia and the United Arab Emirates.

She has led a range of subjects in school, including English, Religious Education and the arts, and also participated in the implementation of the Primary Years Programme in a newly-formed IB school in Abu Dhabi.

Marie has mentored trainees from many universities as well as supporting newly and recently qualified teachers.

Ria Bailey

Primary Tutor

Ria has over 15 years’ experience working in primary education in schools throughout Nottinghamshire. Predominantly in Key Stage 1, a large proportion of that time has been spent in Early Years.

Ria has lead various subjects in school, including PE, PSHE and more recently has begun more focussed work on diversity within the curriculum and the wider school environment.

Ria has mentored students from Nottingham Trent University for many years, supporting students at different stages of their ITT and more recently she has worked as a mentor with Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT.

Liz Boyer

Primary Tutor and EYFS Lead Practitioner

Liz is a passionate primary Deputy Head Teacher with 17 years in education and a love of supporting ITT and ECT to understand pedagogical processes and create inspirational teaching experiences.

She recently completed NPQH and has carried out whole-school impact projects in a variety of areas, such as mastery mathematics, early reading and phonics and developing subject leaders.

In her current Deputy Head position in the independent sector, she continues to teach and has a proven record of outstanding classroom practice with a particular specialism in the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. She also works with an agency and continues to teach across a wide demographic of schools and key stages throughout Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

Liz joined Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT in 2021 as a Primary Tutor and will also facilitate elements of the ITT programme as the EYFS lead practitioner.

David Owen-Jones

Primary Tutor

David has been a primary teacher for over 10 years and has been leading Maths for the last six.

In the last four years, he has become a Teaching for Mastery Specialist, working alongside the NCETM Maths Hub in the East Midlands East. Part of this role was running work groups in more than 20 schools, working alongside staff to develop their Teaching for Mastery ethos.

David was also part of the England–China teacher exchange programme in 2018 and hosted the Chinese teachers on the return part of the exchange.

Secondary Subject Tutors

Belinda Barton

Lead Subject Tutor for Science

Belinda has almost 10 years of secondary school teaching experience and joined Toot Hill School in 2014, before moving to NUAST in 2018.

Belinda is a specialist in Biology (having a degree in Zoology). She has several years of experience mentoring ITT students and NQTs of all Science specialisms.

Outside of school, Belinda has over 10 years of leadership and mentoring experience and has also delivered training in a leadership programme and public speaking coaching.

Belinda has also been involved in work with PSHE departments and was a Head of House.

James Connolly

Lead Subject Tutor for Computer Science

James has 11 years of experience teaching Computer Science within secondary schools in Nottinghamshire and Middlesbrough.

Prior to becoming a teacher, James worked as a web designer for a radio station and a design agency. Having progressed into teaching via the SCITT route, James has personal experience of the system and the great benefits this opportunity has to offer.

James has been involved with the Computer Science side of SCITT for the last two years and enjoys building computer systems (most recently a fully working arcade cabinet) in his spare time.

Helen Gibney

Lead Subject Tutor for English

Helen has 17 years of experience teaching English and Drama within secondary schools in Cambridgeshire and Nottinghamshire. She currently holds responsibility for Key Stage 5 English at Meden School and also has previous experience as a literacy co-ordinator.

Helen has a wealth of experience in ITT and NQT mentoring, since first taking on the role of mentor in 2003.

Helen is currently involved in the delivery of training for NQTs for the Nottinghamshire Education Authority.

Chloe Leach

Lead Subject Tutor for Art

Chloe started her teaching career when she joined Toot Hill School in 2014 as a NQT, progressing to Key Stage 3 co-ordinator of Art and Design.

In 2017, Chloe had the opportunity to start up a department at a brand new school — The Suthers School — as Head of Art and Design. Chloe has focused on ensuring all students have an ambitious curriculum to ignite their passion and love of learning, taking them on a fantastic creative journey from Year 7 to 11.

In additional to her role as Head of Art, Chloe is also Acting Head of Design and Technology and manages Child Development, whilst supporting ECTs in her departments.

Chloe has had previous experience with NTS, delivering Art subject knowledge to primary trainees and is committed to the investment in the next generation of teachers.

Sarah Lynas

Lead Subject Tutor for PE

Sarah has over 10 years of experience teaching Physical Education in secondary schools. She currently holds responsibility for Key Stage 4 and 5 vocational qualifications in PE and has previously had had experience of pastoral support and Key Stage 4 achievement as an Achievement Co-ordinator.

Sarah has completed an MA in Education with a particular focus on the role mentoring can have on both the well-being and academic achievement of pupils within secondary school.

Amandeep Madher

Lead Subject Tutor for Geography and RE

Amandeep qualified as a teacher in 2010. Over the past five years, she has taught in a variety of schools ranging from Outstanding to Requires Improvement.

In 2012, Amandeep became Curriculum Leader of Geography at Meden School.

Throughout her time with Nova Education Trust, Amandeep has been involved in promoting literacy within schools and is now Head of Humanities at Meden.

Amandeep has worked mentoring many ITT students within the Humanities Department.

Michaela Middleton

Lead Subject Tutor for Social Sciences

Michaela has been teaching at Toot Hill School since 2014. She became a lead teacher within her department during her second year of teaching and is now Performance Director for Social Sciences. She is also the Gifted and Talented Co-ordinator at Toot Hill and spends time enhancing the Gifted and Talented Provision for students across the trust.

Michaela led Toot Hill into their third accreditation of the National Association for Aspiring Students in Education (NACE) award this year. She has delivered training sessions focused around enhancing the learning for G&T students to experienced teachers, NQTs and trainee teachers and has a wide range of experience and knowledge within this area.

Jackie Myers

Lead Subject Tutor for MFL

Jackie has over 20 years of experience working and teaching in secondary schools.

As head of the Modern Foreign Languages department at Toot Hill School, Jackie has developed and led the MFL departments in a number of large comprehensive schools.

In 2012, Jackie became a Specialist Leader of Education and MFL Lead Practitioner within Nova Education Trust.

As an experienced ITT and NQT mentor, Jackie brings a wealth of knowledge to her role in Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT.

Marc Rogers

Lead Subject Tutor for Business

Marc has 13 years of experience teaching Business and Economics. He started his own training at Toot Hill School as a PGCE student before being employed as a Teacher of Business at Toot Hill the following year.

Marc spent a few years as a classroom teacher before taking on whole-school responsibility for developing and promoting enterprise among Toot Hill students.

Marc is now head of the Business and Economics department and has been in this role for five years. Marc has large experience mentoring ITT and NQT students within the Business department.

Hannah Rothwell

Lead Subject Tutor for History

Hannah has 10 years of experience teaching History and Politics within secondary schools in Suffolk and Nottinghamshire. She has been head of the History department at Toot Hill School for the past six years and last year took on the role of Subject Director for History with Nova Education Trust.

Hannah has recently taken up the role of Associate School Leader in Teaching and Learning alongside her role as head of History. Hannah has experience of working with the different History departments across the trust in order to develop teaching and learning. She has a wealth of experience in ITT and NQT mentoring, both in her current and previous posts.

Hannah is committed to a lively and interactive style of History teaching which engages pupils and enables the full ability range to make good progress in developing their historical skills and understanding.

Arron Surridge-Taylor

Lead Subject Tutor for D&T

Arron has been teaching for several years in Nova Education Trust after graduating from university with BSc Secondary Design and Technology Education.

Arron teaches a variety of material areas in both Food and Design Technology. In his current role, he leads teaching of a vocational course to ensure that the curriculum is challenging and engaging for his students.

Arron is also an Assistant Head of Year, working as part of a team to oversee standards, pastoral care and academic progress of a year group.

Arron has experience of mentoring and supporting both ITTs and ECTs to deliver high standards in both pastoral care and high quality teaching and learning.

Rhydian Watkins

Lead Subject Tutor for Mathematics

Rhydian gained his initial experience within the Outwood Grange Academies Trust. He has worked at the forefront of new teaching techniques developed from the Shanghai Exchange programme, implementing and developing his understanding of the mastery style of teaching to promote teaching for understanding, through which he is a Secondary Teaching for Mastery Specialist in the UK.

Rhydian’s work has involved working across schools to develop and improve the outcomes of students. He has experienced two years as a Lead Teacher for Outwood Grange Academy Trust before his role with Nova Education Trust as a Director of Maths. His work across numerous schools in developing teaching and learning has been crucial in promoting rapid and sustained progress.

Last year was spent as the Senior Director of Maths for Nova and he joined Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT in September to lead the Subject Specific Maths Programme.

Nova Education Trust

The Nova Education Trust is a dynamic and growing MAT Group based in the East Midlands. Our Trust Group is committed to providing high quality education to all of our students, regardless of their backgrounds. Our track record demonstrates our ability to deliver our core goal, achievement for every child.

Our portfolio of schools includes both secondary and primary schools, working in a range of contexts. In 2012 we founded the Torch Teaching School Alliance, which links 23 schools together sharing effective practice and developing new models for staff development.

In 2013 the work of the TSA was complemented by the introduction of the Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT in partnership with the University of Nottingham, providing School Centred Initial Teacher Training and School Direct courses in our schools.

Our values are central to developing a positive ethos throughout our group of schools. This approach is focused on securing success for all our learners and providing them with the very best life opportunities.

We believe nothing is more important than making a difference to children.


We Promote

  • Trust: All stakeholders work together to realise our vision
  • Integrity: All decisions are based on the best interests of our students
  • Mutual Respect: Ensuring a voice for all stakeholders
  • Empathy: Teaching should be well planned, varied and stimulating
  • Self Improvement: A commitment to supporting the development of our staff, students and wider community

Group Ethos

  • High expectations are essential to raising standards
  • Everyone can succeed
  • Barriers to learning must be challenged and overcome
  • Teaching should be well planned, varied and stimulating
  • Learning should be active, focussed and engaged
  • High standards of behaviour are expected at all times
  • Clear lines of accountability exist at all levels
  • Developing staff and students to engage in effective teaching and learning

Securing Success

Our vision is to build capacity for sustained improvement. There are a number of short term strategies that can be initially used to enhance outcomes but it is out view that these need to be supplemented by a process that transforms a school for long term improvement.

This work is centred on transforming a school using our 'Pillars of Success' improvement model. Transformation is achieved through the combination of a number of changes and improvements to each of these pillars within a school:

  • Leadership
  • CPD
  • Curriculum
  • Learning Organisation
  • Care, Support, Guidance
  • Performance Mangement
  • Tracking and Intervention

For further information on the Nova Education Trust, please visit www.novaeducationtrust.net.